Rangrezaa, KM Music Conservatory’s festival, saw varied music ability come to the fore

The state-of-the-art KM Music Conservatory, the pet project of A.R. Rahman, was in a state of siege as students from over 20 colleges descended in its Arumbakkam campus to participate in Rangrezaa, the conservatory’s first music cultural festival. A stroll around the campus was enough to observe that, though the event went on for around 12 straight hours, there wasn’t a drop in the energy or the quality of performances.

Despite the bright afternoon sun beating down on the lawns, a gathering of around 100 stayed on to listen to the light music bands belting out popular Tamil and Hindi songs. On a humid day, the young participants slugged it out in a total of seven competitions, which saw them going through a qualifying stage before competing with the best of the lot in the finals.

By 5 p.m., the scene of action shifted to the well-designed auditorium where the finalists performed in front of a group of celebrity judges such as Sunitha Sarathy, Palakkad Sreeram, Shweta Menon, Saindhavi, Rehana and Naresh Iyer.

It was a fulfilling day for a team of six from Tamil Nadu Government Music College, Chennai, that got a rare opportunity to showcase their talent in front a musically erudite audience. K.B Hariharan, majoring in Ghatam from the College, performed the konnakkol in Classical (vocal) competition (bagging second place), was happy to take part. “We have no platform to display our talent. Participating in such competitions will only help us grow,” he said.

Singer Shweta Menon, who judged the Light Music (Vocal) competition, observed that the emphasis of Rangrezaa was about producing high-quality music. “This is perhaps the best college competition I have been to. The quality of music is top-notch,” she said. For instance, the finals of the Light Music (Vocal) produced some fantastic performances from Omar (Anna University) and Keshav (D.G. Vaishnav College). Anirudh, one of the finalists of SaReGaMaPa from IIT Madras, eventually clinched the first place.

Talent hunt

Fathima Rafique, executive director of K.M. Conservatory, said, “Though this was our first year, we are happy with the response. In the coming years, we hope the event becomes a place for talent hunt.”

While the participants got to know how their music sounded in auditoriums built with superb acoustics, the winners won a two-day offer to use the high-tech studios of K.M. Conservatory to record their own songs.